The University at Buffalo can be certain it will never again score 68 points in a football game and lose. In a record performance, the Bulls fell short in a 71-68 loss to Western Michigan in a game that took seven overtimes to complete.
Jarvion Franklin ended the game after 4 hours and 31 minutes when he found a hole in the middle of UB's defense and stretched across the goal line. UB had been forced to settle for a short field goal and a 68-65 lead.
The two teams combined for 1,328 yards in the game and were tied in regulation, 31-31, before they traded numerous punches in overtime that left both teams and statisticians exhausted. UB showed it could hang with one of the better teams in the conference, but it wasn't enough.
Drew Anderson completed 35 of 61 passes for a school record 597 yards and seven touchdowns, picking apart Western Michigan's defense while playing his third straight game since Tyree Jackson suffered a sprained knee. He led UB back from a 24-14 deficit with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
Anderson had 242 yards on four plays – a 72-yard toss to Kamithi Holsey, a 64-yard TD to Jacob Martinez, a 53-yard play to Anthony Johnson and a 54-yard scoring pass to K.J. Osborn. The latter play gave the Bulls a 28-24 lead with 8:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Play of the Game: Long forgotten in opvertime was Anderson's perfect pass to Osborn streaking down the left sideline, and the receiver put a great stiff arm on Obbie Jackson, on a highlight for the ages midway through the fourth quarter.
Players of the Game: Anderson, and Anthony Johnson. He had 11 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns for UB. His best catch was a one-handed grab in overtime.
Welcome Home: A Homecoming Day crowd of 17,048 watched a doozy. Most seats on both sides of the stadium were full into the upper deck.
In the House: Los Angeles Chargers GM Tom Telesco, who grew up in Hamburg and graduated from St. Francis in 1991, watched the first half from the press box. He made a pit stop in Western New York before flying to New York for the Chargers' game Sunday against the Giants.
Groundbreaking: The Bulls placed their ceremonial first shovel in the ground for their new indoor practice facility. Actual construction already began on the Murchie Fieldhouse, which is scheduled to be completed in spring of 2019.
White Out: Buffalo and Western both wore white helmets Saturday. UB has two other helmets – blue and black – but elected to play with white. UB had not used the white helmet since a 33-10 win over Colgate.
Streaking: Lance Leipold had won three straight games only once since taking over at UB. The Bulls beat conference rivals Ohio, Miami and Kent State on consecutive weeks and improved to 5-4 in 2015 before dropping their final three contests.
Looking Ahead: The Bulls play host to Northern Illinois next weekend at 3:30 p.m. before back-to-back road games against conference rivals Miami (Ohio) and Akron.